The 1989 movie Field of Dreams helped to popularize the saying, “If you build it, he will come.” That advice worked out pretty well for Kevin Costner in the movie, and subsequently it has provided the people of Dyersville, Iowa, with a reliable stream of tourists.
Most businesspeople would probably agree that this strategy holds little value. You wouldn’t open a store without putting a sign out front and investing in advertising. Yet a lot of companies approach blogging as a check-the-box kind of exercise that can be summed up as “If you post it, they will come.”
Now I know that SEO, keywords, and tags all play a part in helping to drive traffic to a site, and with at least 200 million blogs in existence—not to mention Facebook posts and tweets competing for attention—something has to help people find what they’re after. Once these indexing tools perform their service, however, what compels visitors to return? On a basic level, they’re looking for value in the form of information, product details, and answers to specific questions.
For businesses, blogs have the potential to be an invaluable tool in offering insight to prospective customers. They can also be a channel to create a dialogue with external parties. However, posts that don’t address a defined audience and aren’t coordinated with a company’s marketing and communications efforts risk being at best a waste of time and resources and at worst counterproductive.
The solution is to invest the necessary time and resources in creating content that attracts visitors and provides the information they’re seeking. At that point, companies have taken the first step in translating their expertise and understanding into sales and revenues.